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Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow jumps bail and strikes to Canada

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HONG KONG — Certainly one of Hong Kong’s best-known pro-democracy activists, who moved to Canada to pursue additional research, mentioned she wouldn’t return to town to fulfill her bail situations, turning into the newest politician to flee Hong Kong beneath Beijing’s crackdown on dissidents.

Agnes Chow, a well-known younger face within the metropolis’s once-vibrant pro-democracy motion, was arrested in 2020 beneath a Beijing-imposed nationwide safety legislation that was enacted following 2019 anti-government protests. She was launched on bail but in addition served greater than six months in jail for a separate case over her position within the protests.

After Chow was launched from jail in 2021 for that case, she needed to repeatedly report back to the police. She mentioned in an Instagram put up on Sunday night time that the stress prompted her “psychological diseases” and influenced her determination to not return to town.

Lots of her friends have been jailed, arrested, pressured into self-exile or silenced after the introduction of the safety legislation in 2020.

The suppression of town’s pro-democracy motion highlights that freedoms promised to the previous British colony when it returned to China in 1997 have been eroded drastically. However Beijing and Hong Kong have hailed the safety legislation for bringing again stability to the semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis.

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Chow mentioned the authorities in July provided to return her passport for her to pursue research in Canada beneath the situation that she would journey to mainland China with them. She agreed, she mentioned, and her journey in August included a go to to an exhibition on China’s achievements and the headquarters of tech large Tencent. The authorities later returned her passport to her.

After contemplating the scenario in Hong Kong, her security and her well being, Chow mentioned she “most likely will not return” to town once more.

“I do not wish to be pressured to do issues that I do not wish to do anymore and be pressured to go to mainland China once more. If it continues, my physique and my thoughts will collapse although I’m secure,” she wrote.

Hong Kong police on Monday “strongly condemned” Chow’s transfer, with out naming her, saying it was “in opposition to and difficult the rule of legislation.”

“Police urge the girl to instantly flip again earlier than it’s too late and never to decide on a path of no return. In any other case, she is going to bear the stigma of ‘fugitive’ for the remainder of her life,” the police mentioned in a press release.

The police didn’t reply to questions from The Related Press on Chow’s mainland China journey.

Chow rose to fame with different outstanding younger activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Legislation as a scholar chief for his or her activism within the 2010s, together with pro-democracy protests in 2014.

She co-founded the now-defunct pro-democracy occasion Demosisto with Wong and Legislation, however the occasion was disbanded on June 30, 2020, the identical day the safety legislation was enacted.

Wong is now in custody and faces a subversion cost that might lead to life imprisonment if convicted. Legislation fled to Britain and the police in July provided a reward of 1 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($127,600) for data resulting in his arrest.

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